A Thomson Reuters survey claims that one in five financial institutions are considering cryptocurrency trading in 2018, with many planning to do so in the next few months.
The survey by the leading professional market news service was conducted with over 400 Thomson Reuters trading solutions clients, including users of the Eikon, REDI, and FX platforms.
20% of the participants indicated that they are considering trading cryptocurrencies over the next 3-12 months, with 70% of positive respondents planning to trade in cryptocurrencies in the coming 3-6 months.
Neill Penney, co-head of Trading for Thomson Reuters, commented on the recent change in sentiment:
“Cryptocurrency is still a relatively small part of the trading market, but this survey indicates this niche segment is starting to enter the mainstream of the financial services industry. This is a major change from a year ago.”
Penney identified the immediate priority for clients as the need to seamlessly access news and data around cryptocurrencies in order to make informed trading decisions.
“As a leading provider of news, data, and trading capabilities Thomson Reuters is well-positioned to deliver solutions that address client demand in the growing cryptocurrency market,” said Penney.
Thomson Reuters’ Eikon desktop platform provides prices for Bitcoin and altcoins. Its MarketPsych indices now includes the first sentiment data feed for Bitcoin, in addition to other new capabilities. The 100-year-old business intends to introduce further functionality for the sector in response to customer needs.
The survey also found widespread familiarity among participants, which may indicate that cryptocurrency trading is a long way from being seen as the niche market it once was.
Kevin Murcko, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange CoinMetro commented directly on the results of the survey:
“Historically, the banking sector has been notoriously dismissive of the crypto movement. Cryptocurrency has variously been called a bubble, an asset for criminals, and worthless. But today’s survey demonstrates that while financial institutions are saying one thing, they’re doing quite another.”
Murcko feels that tides of opinion in the financial sector are shifting, also illustrated by the Goldman Sachs appointment of its first cryptocurrency expert to explore the possibility of a Bitcoin trading desk and Barclays investigation into a move to cryptocurrency trading.
“We’re witnessing a gradual institutionalisation of the market, and this is sure to drive mainstream adoption,” continued Murcko. “The move to accommodate digital currencies is also a symbolic one; it’s a sign of growing maturity in the market, and represents just how far cryptocurrency has come since its days of relative obscurity.”
There are further signs of institutional trading interest in cryptocurrencies as Wall Street legends like George Soros and the Rockefeller family look to the volatile new markets. Bitcoin’s continued recovery after recent doldrums may be the sign of market maturity hesitant traditional investors have been waiting for.